Browns’ Baker Mayfield garnering interest from Buccaneers in potential trade scenario, per report

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To commit to Baker Mayfield or to not, that is the question facing the Cleveland Browns this offseason. As the former first-overall pick readies for his sixth season in the NFL, he’s currently doing so without a long-term contract in his hand, and that means he’s facing a contract year in 2022. That is, of course, unless the Browns decide to make him available for trade and, if so, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers might be willing to listen.

Having presumably lost future first ballot Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady to retire — again, presumably — general manager Jason Licht and head coach Bruce Arians have reportedly been evaluating about eight quarterbacks they’d be interested in acquiring to take the reins as QB1 next season, some in case they come available for a trade, and Mayfield is one of them, per The Tampa Bay Times.

If the Browns, who recently agreed to terms with the Dallas Cowboys on a trade for four-time Pro Bowl receiver Amari Cooper, are secretly eyeing a go at Deshaun Watson following the grand jury’s decision to not indict on allegations of sexual misconduct, it would make sense they’d see what type of assets they could receive for Mayfield that might aid in a possible trade with the Houston Texans this offseason. It would be a risk to move Mayfield prior to having something in place to obtain Watson, but it’s not impossible, and much stranger things have already happened this offseason (Cooper’s trade now being one of them).

Mayfield battled through injury in 2021 as best he could, but it was all for naught, and his struggles came ahead of a pivotal offseason that will help determine his NFL future. Slated to be fully healthy in 2022, however, the Buccaneers are wisely not completely sold on what they’re selling to the public — ie, Blaine Gabbert being the possible heir apparent to Brady — and are instead looking for better options that now include Mayfield.

The Browns would gain $18.858 million if they trade Mayfield, yet another variable they are keenly aware of in Cleveland as they continue to work on freeing up much-needed cap space ahead of free agency. Long story short, it’s time for the Browns to make a decision on Mayfield, and the Buccaneers are waiting to see what that will be.

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